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RealTime Economic Issues Watch

In RealTime posts, PIIE senior staff and colleagues discuss the fast-moving economic news, financial developments, and public policy choices confronting the United States and the world.

Recent Posts

The Obama Administration’s Wrong Answer for Corporate “Inversions”

by and Tyler Moran | July 17th, 2014 | 02:06 pm

Faced with an exodus of tenants, most owners would immediately correct defects in their buildings. But faced with a wave of corporate “inversions”—namely US firms seeking the corporate nationality of another country—Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has instead called upon Congress to lock the front door and deal with the underlying causes at an uncertain date. […]

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Senseless GSP Sanctions against Russia Hurt US Importers

by and Tyler Moran | July 16th, 2014 | 10:03 am

Because economic exchange benefits both parties, sanctions usually harm the sender country as well as the target. Nevertheless sanctions are a handy tool in the conduct of foreign policy, especially when the impact on the target greatly exceeds the impact on the sender. What can’t be justified is imposing a “sanction” that hurts only the […]

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Modi’s First Budget for India: Disappointing but Retrievable

by | July 11th, 2014 | 12:54 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategic vision underlying his first budget speech, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on July 10, calls for an India that needs to grow rapidly and create opportunities for all. But while that vision deserves the highest of grades, the substance and the policy actions were not equal to the goal. […]

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How US Investments in Mexico Have Increased Investment and Jobs at Home

by and Lindsay Oldenski | July 11th, 2014 | 10:24 am

Enactment of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 20 years ago was accompanied by dire predictions that an increase in US investment in Mexico would lead to job losses and investment reduction at home. The rhetorical highpoint for this concern was captured by H. Ross Perot’s assertion in the 1992 presidential campaign that NAFTA […]

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How to Amend the Ukrainian Constitution

by | July 7th, 2014 | 04:32 pm

President Petro Poroshenko’s plan to amend the Ukrainian constitution is one of his top priorities. This makes sense, in part because of the broad consensus about the necessary changes. Regional governors should be elected, and regional administrations should be given more political and economic power. Russia’s demands for “federalization” of Ukraine should be seen as […]

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Assessing the EU Council Record: Cameron and Juncker May Work Well Together

by | July 2nd, 2014 | 10:16 am

The election of Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission was not the only accomplishment of EU leaders in late June. There were also important developments on other foreign and economic issues. British Prime Minister David Cameron and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban were the only leaders to oppose Juncker [pdf]. Cameron, […]

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European Parliament: The Strength of “Anti” Parties Has Precedent

by | July 1st, 2014 | 11:11 am

The results of the European Parliament election of May 22–25 have been described as “a shock, an earthquake” by the French Prime Minister because of unprecedented gains by antiestablishment and in some cases xenophobic parties denouncing the European status quo. The long-term trends, however, indicate a different perspective. Much of the pan-European comment, as always, […]

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A Provisional Scorecard for Recent Modi Government Measures

by | June 30th, 2014 | 03:03 pm

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in mid-May with high expectations that it would strengthen India’s fragile macroeconomy and faltering investment and growth. An assessment this early is a little unfair. Additional major policy announcements will be made in the budget on July 10. But to its credit, the government has not […]

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Two Years Ago, Banking Union Was Euro Crisis Turning Point

by | June 27th, 2014 | 02:55 pm

Europe’s banking union, constituting a supranational pooling of most instruments of banking policy, was established two years ago, in the early hours of June 29, 2012. To a greater extent than was initially realized by most observers, this step marked a watershed in the European crisis by making it possible for the European Central Bank […]

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Three Myths about the Ex-Im Bank

by | June 25th, 2014 | 04:29 pm

Congress has begun holding hearings on the reauthorization of the US Export-Import Bank, which provides financing assistance to help US exports. TheEx-Im Bank’s charter expires in September. Three myths are being perpetuated by the new House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and other conservatives who would like to see the Ex-Im Bank closed. Below these myths […]

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